Dr. Kirk Garratt, director of interventional cardiovascular research at Lenox Hill Hospital, in New York City, said that "oncologists are realizing that grapefruit juice can be used to advantage."
The same effect is seen with cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins and patients are cautioned not to drink grapefruit juice when taking a statin, Garratt said.
Cohen noted that not all grapefruit juice is the same and some types don't have enough of the active ingredient to have an effect on drugs.
Before this strategy could be used for a wide variety of patients, there needs to be a way to balance drug doses with grapefruit juice to ensure an optimal effect, he noted.
Another expert commented on the study.
"This is a phase 1 trial," said Dr. Otis Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society. "They are going to have to do a phase 2 study and show that this way of dosing is equivalent or better than our current approved ways of dosing."
Brawley said this finding is very preliminary, but it's worth pursuing as a way to save money and perhaps reduce side effects. A lot of work needs to be done, however, before this approach can be considered as a potential addition to therapy, he said.
To learn more about drug interactions, visit the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
SOURCES: Ezra Cohen, M.D., assistant professor of medicine, University of Chicago Medical Center; Otis Brawley, M.D., chief medical officer, American Cancer Society; Kirk Garratt, M.D., director, interventional cardiovascular research, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; A
All rights reserved